8 Million Android Users Affected By Malicious Adware, The New Research Reveals
TrendLabs Security Intelligence has notified of 85 apps on the Google Play Store that are ridden with adware in its new discovery published three days earlier on August 16th, 2019. These apps are used for everyday activities such as photography and gaming, the research points out. These ads laden apps are supposedly thought as a nuisance by users, but they have several motives behind which remain strange to users usually downloading them.
According to their research, as many as 8 million downloads had been made of these adware laden apps by the time they revealed the information, the research warns as it hides as malware in the device of the user, and starts showing unwanted advertisements.
“Apart from displaying advertisements that are difficult to close, it employs unique techniques to evade detection through user behavior and time-based triggers,” the original research by the security intelligence reads while describing the techniques by which these apps penetrate into any device without causing any serious risk to themselves.
By using Java reflection, an API that enables the runtime behavior of the app to be examined or changed, the malicious software enters the device after determining if the ad-ridden app has been installed for almost thirty minutes. Once it finds out, the app’s shortcut is created itself on the home screen of the device after hiding its icon, preventing the app from being uninstalled.
Through their violations, they can even check that for how long the device has been unlocked, and for how long the particular app has been installed in the device. With the exception of all that, it can also see which advertisement was played earlier, so that it doesn’t show any ad too often.
As these ads ridden apps do perform their usual functions of capturing photos and playing games, users are bound to watch the full advertisement before they can either return to the app or close it anyhow. The Security Intelligence has forwarded the details of these ad-ridden apps, and according to the published article on their website, they are not available on Google Play Store anymore. But the damage that these apps have done to millions of devices and users is not something to be left unaddressed.
What should you do if you’ve been the victim of these apps
To identify if you’ve been wronged by any of these apps, here is the list of adware infected apps.
Trend Micro in its article has published some of the tips that people, who are already affected by such apps, can avail to get rid of them. Recent Samsung android devices have a feature that restricts the creation of shortcut on the home screen, the research highlights, suggesting users of taking full advantage of it to uninstall the app. It also reminds users of the function that the android 8 or later versions have of asking for user’s confirmation before an application is allowed to create a shortcut on the home screen of the device.
In addition to this, an ethical hacker named John Opdenakker proposes that users should read the app review before installing them, just as its done when someone buys an item on Amazon.